Teams: UC Davis vs. UC Santa Barbara; Cal Poly
Records: UC Davis (18-9, 9-4); UC Santa Barbara (19-6, 9-4); Cal Poly (7-9, 3-10)
Where: Upper Hickey Gymnasium
When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
Who to watch: This weekend’s matches mark the last home games in the college careers of three seniors – Avreeta Singh, Tori Hooper and Carson Lowden.
Lowden, who has been starting since her sophomore year, has appeared in 106 matches over her UC Davis career.
The Yuba City, Calif. native is averaging 10.23 assists per set for the second-place Aggies.
Did you know? The Aggies’ back to back losses last weekend was the first time that has happened to them since Oct. 3 and 9 falling to then-nationally ranked UC Irvine and Cal Poly. The loss last Friday also put a stop to the Aggies’ six game winning streaks.
Preview: Before last weekend, the Aggies were alone in first place.
After two matches, they found themselves back in a tie for second, demonstrating just how important each Big West match is.
This weekend will be another tough one for the UC Davis, as on Friday it faces UC Santa Barbara, a team that the Aggies are tied with for second.
“The top four teams in our conference are neck-and-neck,” said coach Jamie Holmes. “So playing at home in our arena on Senior Night is exciting. I can’t help but think about the seniors as we go into this weekend. This has been a special season for them, and they have truly left their mark on where this program is going.”
Those seniors – Singh, Hooper and Lowden – have been the catalyst to the Aggies’ success this season and their presence will be missed in the program next year.
“I’m going to miss this class of seniors,” Holmes said. “They have been a wonderful group – Tori, Avreeta and Carson. They epitomize the type of athlete you want in your program.
“They’re respectful, they’re unselfish, they work hard every day and they think of their team. It will be an exciting weekend, but it’s also a sad weekend for me because I know the end of our time together is drawing near.”
UC Davis will finish out the weekend with a Saturday night matchup against Cal Poly, a team that the Aggies defeated in five sets earlier this season.
The team will need the support of the Aggie pack this weekend and students as it continues its quest for a first-ever Big West Championship.
– Kyle Hyland